The Left and the media (but I repeat . . . oh why bother) are making a fuss about an ambush put on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Mike Allen of Politico about purported anti-Semitism in the House Republican caucus, shown in the video below. It turns out that Cantor contributed $25,000 to a primary challenger against an incumbent House Republican who had commented that Cantor couldn’t be “saved” because he is Jewish. (You’ll notice in the YouTube clip, by the way, that this background is left out.) Does this expression of perfectly ordinary evangelical theological exclusiveness (which would extend to Buddhists, Muslims, and anyone else who doesn’t convert) really rise to the status of anti-Semitism? If so it’s certainly an odd one, since evangelical Christians are among the most fervent supporters of Israel anywhere. Yeah, yeah, for some evangelicals and fundamentalists it’s because Israel plays a role in the fulfillment of certain millenarian prophecies, but who cares as a practical political matter? Israeli leaders don’t. I recall that Menachim Begin used to telephone Jerry Falwell for political help. Get a grip, folks.
But as I like to say, if the liberal media didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. Anti-Semitism is much more prevalent on the Left than the Right today, but strangely (or not so strangely really) I seldom hear the media inquire about this. Did Allen or any other reporter ever ask Nancy Pelosi or Steny Hoyer about anti-Semitism from, say, the Congressional Black Caucus—Cynthia McKinney anyone? Did any reporter ever ask Barack Obama specifically about the anti-Semitic rants of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, or ask “is anti-Semitism a problem in black churches that support you?” You’d have to pass the smelling salts in most newsrooms if an impertinent reporter ever asked this.
More to the point, will the media show any restraint in echoing the anti-Mormon bigotry we’ve already seen not only from MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, but from Democratic elected officials like Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer? Will the media call out this egregious religious bigotry from the Left? Yes, these are rhetorical questions, whose answers are obvious.